While shopping at the grocery store today, we found a new use for my cane. We buy 4L pouches of milk because I go through so much each week but we couldn't see any of our brand out. The milk is stored in crates that roll on rollers to the front, but there were no full crates at the front. There was a crate further back on the roller track, but it was too far to reach by hand. Fortunately, Ian was able to use my cane to bring the milk crate forward. Problem solved!
I'm much less self-conscious about walking with the cane than I was before. I only wish that I didn't have to use it all the time. Experiments have shown that if I walk around - even just at the grocery store - without a cane, my hip hurts a LOT the next day. So I use the cane.
I have to admit that I'm still a bit clumsy with the cane when I'm not walking with it. It's like not knowing what to do with your hands; I don't know what to do with my cane when I'm sitting down somewhere, or looking at stuff, or really doing anything other than walking with it.
At least the cane helps my back not hurt... if it can be used to get things, that's ok.